Wednesday, January 18, 2017

26.2

This may be the longest post I've ever done. I can't help it. I want to remember it all.
Friday after work I got my hair cut & headed downtown to pick up my race packet. Being there in the middle of the day is great. It's not crowded & I was in & out in no time. 

My plan for Friday & Saturday was to do whatever I could to try not to think about the race because I was a nervous wreck. We had Italian Friday night at DeGiulio Brothers. I kept with tradition & had a couple of cake balls from Brew Ha Ha. Although, I was very upset that they were out of the King Cake flavor. I got to sleep early & slept really good. Everyone says the night before the night before the race is when you have to get a good nights sleep.


Everything laid out & ready to go.

Saturday we intended to spend the day running errands & looking for a dress for the Mardi Gras Ball we're going to. I expected this to be an all day affair. Which was good because it would keep my mind off the race. Imagine my surprise when I found my dress at the second store. We had lunch in the food court. I treated myself to Chic-fil-A. It's been awhile. We stopped by Varsity Sports so I could pick up some Gu & home we went. We had Little Caesar's pizza Saturday night. I didn't want to get out & I just wanted cheese pizza. I was all about carbs. 

I didn't get to sleep as early as I planned but I slept ok. I woke up before my 4:30 alarm went off. I was able to get dressed, get band aids all over my feet along with duct tape - weird I know but it helps with blisters. I have an issue with my pinky toes rubbing. I put the band aids & tape on as a precaution. I ate a bagel with almond butter & another cake ball. Breakfast of champions right there!! 

At 5:30 I headed out. One of my favorite Priest in town was doing a 26.2 minute Mass Sunday morning at the Church that's on the course. He's a runner & did the Mass last year for the first time. It's a great way to calm down & relax a little before the race. I met my brother & sister in law there. They were both running the Half Marathon. Another good thing about the early Mass is they open the bathrooms & you don't have to use the porta potties! We got our bags checked & it was time to line up. 




It was super foggy Sunday morning & it was not cold. I've said before how I like running in cold weather. I think it was about 60 when the race started & high humidity but there was a bit of breeze. so it wasn't bad. 


My friend Vicki, her niece Simone & my Godchild Lane came out to watch & even with all of the people out there we just happened to see them before the race. She got a pic of me & Lydia.


This is the race that has the dreaded overpass that you have to go over twice. From here on out it's referred to as "That Damn Overpass". For the Marathon it's at mile 1 and mile 25. 

There are tons of spectators on the route & being that this is Louisiana there's no shortage of food & drinks along the course. I saw Mimosa's, beer, pigs in a blanket (yuck!) & king cake. I stuck with water, power ade, ice, gu & fruit. Oranges & watermelon never tasted so good!

I knew Dean & my friends Cindy & Dianne were going to be along the course I just didn't know where. I saw them the first time at the 10K mark. Cindy has a great voice for this type of thing. I heard her well before I saw her! 

They took pics & videos. This was around mile 7. Right before this I saw Vicki, Simone & Lane again. 


Around mile 9 I saw my friend Autumn. She lives in Pensacola & happened to be in town so she came out & cheered. 


The course is along a lot of the area that I did my training runs. It starts downtown & you make your way through LSU's campus & along the lakes. At mile 11 the Half & Full split. This took me to a part of town that I never run in which was good because there were a lot of new things to look at. There were a  ton of big, pretty houses which is great distraction for me. 

I saw the whole crew together right before the split at mile 11 & by this time Allison had joined them. That's when I found out my brother finished the Half in 1:32. A new PR for him.  Cindy just happened to snap a pic right when Dean told me his time.




At mile 11 I saw my friend Damian. He works the race & was the person making sure everyone knew that the Half turned & the full kept going.  It was great that I was seeing people every few miles. 

I think it was around mile 15 that I saw my crew again. There's an app that I used during my training runs that is great. It's called Road ID - the same people that make the bracelets. The app sends a text message to the people you put on a list letting them know that you've started a run & it sends them a link so that at any time during your run they can click on it & see where you are. I used it training since I was running by myself.  That way Dean would always know where I was. You set the time for how long you'll be running. If at any time you stop moving for 3 minutes it sends another message to the people on your list letting them know that something's wrong because you haven't moved. There's also a loud alarm in case you've just stopped to talk or something to let you know it's about to send the text. I used the app Sunday so that Dean  could look at it & know where they needed to go to see me. It worked out great. 

We have some friends that live around the corner from mile 18 so Dean, Cindy & Dianne headed there & met Paul, Jennifer, Stan & Renee. A little ways down the road were Allison, Vicki, Lane & Simone. By this point I was getting tired but I still felt good. 

In all of the residential areas there were a lot of spectators & they cheered for you & read your name off your bib & yelled at you. It was great. This was also where a lot of people had tables set up with fruit for the runners.

Dean, Cindy & Dianne were at mile 20 I think it was. Somewhere close to there anyway. Most training plans only have you go up to 20 miles. Everyone says adrenaline kicks in at that point. I don't know about that. I kept telling myself I just had 2 5K's left. By mile 23 I had to walk a little bit. The sun had come out by this point & it was hot.  Dean, Cindy & Dianne popped up around that point. I was surprised because I thought they would've headed to the finish line after mile 20.  It was good to see them.  Only 3 miles left. And that damn overpass! 

I think the race directors or whoever measured the route thought they were being cute. Mile 25 is at the TOP of the overpass. Not funny. As I was going down the overpass there were a few people walking in the opposite direction. They'd finished the race, gotten their medals & were headed home. I so wanted to be them. 

I made the final turn in which you can see the finish line about a half mile away. Then I hit mile 26. Almost there. I couldn't believe it. I saw Dean right before entering the finish line chute.  



Right before this point I saw Scott & Lydia cheering.


And I did it!!
 I crossed the finish line, got my medal, a bottle of water & then saw my crew. They rewarded me with a bottle of chocolate milk. So so good. My official time was 5:21:18. I was hoping to be under 5:15 but when I saw the forecast & knew it was going to be hot & humid I changed my goal to under 5:30. 


Along with my Louis Vuitton bag, that medal is my most prized possession! 
That's the Louisiana state capitol in the background. 




I got hugs from all my peeps & I'm sad because none of us thought to take a group pic. I picked up my bag from gear check & immediately put on my Oofos. Y'all those are the most comfortable things I've ever put on my feet. Next up I went to the PT tent where my friend that got me through my training was & she stretched me out. I really didn't feel awful. I was hot & my feet were hurting a little but mainly just my pinkie toes. There were blisters on both toes. So weird. 

Everyone left & Dean & I headed to the finish fest to get some food. I wasn't hungry at all. That's been a huge benefit of marathon training for me - I don't want to eat after long runs. I got some crawfish etouffee & crawfish mac & cheese & ate a few bites of each. This race has food provided by a bunch of different restaurants in town & there's all sorts of good Louisiana food. There was live music too but I was ready to go pretty quick. All I really wanted was a Route 44 Sonic Dr. Pepper. I think I started thinking about it around mile 20.


Truly the best Dr. Pepper I've ever had!!

My plan was to go home & get in the pool. That's what I did after all of my long runs & it really helped with soreness & recovery because the water is really cold. By the time we got home I was cold. Apparently, that's something that happens after you run a Marathon. There was no way I was getting in that pool. Instead I got in a hot bath!

I was ready for bed early Sunday night. Right before bed I checked my steps.


That is a record I'll never break!!!

Monday when I woke up I was scared about how bad I was going to hurt. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. I was sore but nothing like I thought I would be. I could've gone for a run. I went Monday afternoon & had a massage & that felt great. I was surprised when the masseuse told me that my back was the tightest part of my body. Today I'm pretty much back to normal. I'm taking the week off from any sort of exercise. I'm ready for a little break. 

Tuesday afternoon this was delivered to my office.


It was from my friend Autumn congratulating me again for my Marathon. I thought that was the sweetest thing.


This medal represents so much. I've never been an athlete, I never played team sports & I quit a lot of things that I started. Running is the one thing that I haven't quit on. I set my goal & I did it. First with the 5K, then the Half Marathon & now the Full. It was the hardest thing I've ever done & that's why it means so much to me. People keep asking if I'm ready to run another one. NO. This was a one & done thing. Since I started running 5 years ago I swore I'd never run a marathon. I knew there was no possible way I could do it. Well, I did it. I'm a Marathoner.

Toodles! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Race Week

It's finally here. Race week. For the last several years this has been race week but this year is different. This year it's race week for my first (and only) Full Marathon. I still can't believe I'm actually going through with it. 

Everything was going fine with my training until 2 weeks ago. I started with the sinus/allergy thing that I get. I took meds, I rested & I skipped some training runs. Thankfully, I was starting to taper so I didn't miss any long runs. I ran 10 miles the Friday before New Years & all was good. The day after New Years I woke up feeling awful so I went to After Hours. They diagnosed me with Bronchitis. Lovely. I really don't have time for that. I took my meds, I rested some more. Here it is a week later & I'm still coughing. It's extremely annoying. 

My last "long run" was scheduled for Saturday & it was 6 miles. Winter decided to arrive in Louisiana Friday & Saturday. The temps were in the 20's with wind chills in the teens. I like to run in cold but that was a little much. I still wasn't feeling great so I postponed my run to Sunday. 


I got it done Sunday afternoon. The sun was out & it had "warmed up" to the somewhere in the 40's. That's definitely my ideal running temp. By my 2nd mile I was sweating. 

 I ran again this morning.


Just a short 3 miler. This is going to be my last run before the race.
 I'm nervous. Like really nervous. I shouldn't be. I mean it's just a run. I can walk if I get tired. I've done (2) 20 mile training runs. Surely, if I can do that I can make it 6 more. People do it all the time. 

This is part of my problem.




3 different weather apps with 3 different forecasts. I'm not concerned with the rain. I'm concerned with that big 77 degree high. That's hot! I'm trying not to worry about it because there isn't a thing in the world that I can do about it. Well, except pray for a random cold front that nobody's expecting.

So, the next time we "talk" hopefully, I'll be able to say that I'm a marathoner. 

Toodles! 


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas

Since my last post not a lot has happened. I still don't have my car & I'm still training for a marathon.
 
On Christmas Eve I had one last "really long run" to do. I was supposed to run 18 miles. It was hot & humid so I wasn't really looking forward to it. Surprisingly, it wasn't awful. I made it to 18 & only stopped twice to fill up my water bottle so that's like a 30 second stop at the most. I decided to go ahead & try to get to 20. I told myself that if I could run to 19, I'd let myself walk 20. I ended up walk/running the last mile. Even though it was way too hot I felt much better than the last time & my time reflected that. I was 11 minutes faster than my other 20 miler.


The only thing that was really hurting were my feet. I could feel that I had a couple of blisters. I wore different socks & that was a mistake. They slipped & my heels were messed up. I also had a spot on my pinky toe that didn't feel good. When I took my shoe off the whole side of my sock was covered in blood. I'll spare you the picture. I was walking around the kitchen getting Powerade & chocolate milk & there were little bloody footprints everywhere. The floors were going to be cleaned later in the day so I wasn't too concerned. Dean said he could track me like he'd track a deer just from the blood. So, when I took my sock off imagine my surprise when the spot that was bleeding was tiny. Like, really tiny. Weird.  
 
Since we're back to warm temps I was able to get in the pool waist deep. It was cold but not awful & it really helps with recovery.
 
We always go to Mass on Christmas Eve. We normally go to the 4:00 Mass & to dinner afterwards. Since we were only able to get an 8:00 dinner reservation we went to 6:30 Mass. I think it's my fave now. You don't have to go an hour early to get a seat &  you're not squeezed in like sardines.
 
We had our annual dinner at Ruffino's with our friends. It was delicious as usual.

 
Ruffino's always brings cotton candy at the end of the meal.
 
After dinner we went to the annual pajama party at our neighbor's house.
 
I didn't do a very good job taking pictures this year & I'm about the only one that takes any so we don't have many.


My cousins who are also my Godchildren & my mom. Note the shorts & t-shirts. It was hot. I think we have more hot Christmas's than anything.

Logan wasn't feeling good. It was obvious because he was being still & quiet. HA!
 

He opened his presents & then he was gone. We found him in the sitting room.


Poor little man. 
 

My uncle & my brother
 

Two of the cousins
 

It was a miracle to get these two pictures. The boys are not a fan of pics.


Brooke & her mom
 

Me & my cousin, Leslie
 

They even smiled for me!
 
All in all it was a good day. I just wish Logan would've been feeling better.
 
How was y'alls Christmas?
 
Toodles!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Marathon Training

So, training has been going really well. I've had a few pains but I've gone to physical therapy & it's helped  a lot. Saturday was a scary, scary day. My training plan was for a 20 mi. run. I didn't want to do it. I know there's nothing saying I have to but I do want to see this through & get that sticker. Even though I don't have a car to put the sticker on at the moment. Hopefully, we'll have it back by then. 

It was really cold Saturday morning. Not just cold for Louisiana either. When I got up the wind chill was something ridiculous like 27. I didn't want to hang around the house too long waiting for it to warm up because that would just make me not want to go. I do much better waking up, getting dressed & going run right away. I ended up leaving around 9:00. It was cold but the sun was out & I know once I start I warm up pretty quick. 

It's amazing just how far 20 miles actually is. At least to me it is. I never really paid attention to how many miles it was to get anywhere until I started running. I actually started at my house, ran to LSU, ran around campus, around the lakes & almost all the way home. It was tough. It didn't get too bad until around mile 18. I ended up walking a little those last 2 miles. I was tired but my biggest problem was that I was nauseous. I think the energy jelly beans were to blame. I need to figure out a plan because I have to take in some calories on the route to get through the marathon. Carbs work best for me but I can't run around with a bagel in my pocket. It took 4:01 to do 20 miles. Originally I wanted to finish the marathon in 5 or less but I see that's a pipe dream. 


The pelicans are migrating before they hibernate. Or at least that's what I read somewhere. 


I've been using the pool for ice baths for the last several long runs. The water is freezing & I didn't think I'd be able to stand it this week since it was cold outside too. I managed to just put my feet & calves in. My foot was bothering me & my calves are usually tight after a run. I honestly think this does wonders because when I woke up Sunday morning I wasn't sore aside from my foot but it was better. I've always believed in the power of ice but now I'm convinced. 

20 miles is the longest training run I'll have to do. I'm using Hal Higdon's plan with some modifications & it only calls for one 20 miler. The local running store has a plan too. They also only go to 20 miles but they do it twice. I can't decide what's best. The reason for the other modifications is time. Now that I'm further into the training the plan wants you to do a semi long run during the week. I can't do 8 or 9 miles during the week because I already get up at 4:30 & I'm not getting up any earlier & with the traffic we have these days I don't usually get home before 5:45. If I started immediately that would have me not finishing until close to 8:00 which isn't far from my bedtime since the whole getting up at 4:30 thing. I just try to get what I can done. I'm not trying to win the race I just want to finish. 

This weeks first run was short since it was the follow up to 20. 


It was also reaaaalllly slow. Again, not trying to win.

This morning I did 6 miles.  


The weather this week has been yuck. Windy, misty & today foggy. It's not cold but the humidity is high. All that's supposed to change Sunday. We'll see. I do much better in cold weather & I'm crossing my fingers that it will be cold January 15. 

Toodles!




Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Life Lately


I didn't mean to quit blogging.  I don't even know if anyone visits anymore. There just hasn't been anything blog worthy going on.. Just the same old stuff. Work, running, eating out, repeat. Since we last visited I've had a birthday.


Work birthday cake was just almond cake with butter cream filling & icing. Best cake ever!


Another butter cream birthday cake with friends. One thing I'm not a fan of on birthday's is people actually singing Happy Birthday. It's awkward for everyone involved. At work they always sing & you just sit there & don't know where to look. My friends decided they needed to sing to me. I told them no, it's awkward & I don't like people looking at me. Soooo, they turned around & had their backs to me & sang. I highly recommend that if you must sing. So much less awkward.

Two nights before my birthday we'd gone to a charity event in town & on the way home this happened.


The front's also damaged because when the girl hit us, she pushed us into the car in front of us which just happened to be our friends that we were with earlier. Fun times dealing with that. We're going on almost 6 weeks & my Expedition is still in the shop. Maybe 2 more weeks they say. Definitely not holding my breath. It's really not fun to pay a car note on a car that's only a year old that you currently don't have. We're getting really close to payment number 2 without the car. Yes, I know, be grateful nobody was hurt, blah, blah, blah. I am. Just annoyed that we're inconvenienced  because of someone else. 

I've been running a lot. Marathon training is going surprisingly well. For several weeks I ran 4 times a week which I don't normally do. I've had a few minor issues that I've gone to Physical Therapy for but for the most part I feel ok. 

Two weeks ago I had my longest run to date. 


I swear I heard angels singing when I finished. It took 3 hours 29 minutes. I'm definitely not training for time since this is my first marathon. Actually, it will also be my only marathon. I don't have grand illusions that I'm going to do great & love it & want to subject myself to any more of this nonsense.  

I have a 20 miler Saturday. It's getting colder but luckily the ridiculous cold (in the 40's for the high) will only be here Friday & then Saturday will warm up a bit. 

It's the time of year when the pelicans hang out at the LSU lakes for a few weeks before they go wherever it is that they go for the winter. 


We've had a lot of rain & wind & just dreary looking days this week. I'm ready for some sun. 

So, that's it. We're all caught up. See? Nothing happening.

Toodles!



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Napa 2016

Back in October we went to Napa with friends. I pretty much love everything about Napa. The weather is fabulous! We flew into Oakland on a Wednesday afternoon & headed to Napa. Thursday we started with a tasting at Cakebread. 


All the wineries have really pretty landscaping.




 V Sattui was next. We'd never been there before & the wine was really good. Of course they don't sell it in stores. We bought a few bottles & had it shipped home. Someone asked me what we learned on this trip. My response was - We like $150 wines better than $50 wine. There really is a difference. We did not buy the $150 bottle. The guy that did our tasting advised us to buy a less expensive bottle & age it so that's what we did.  We now have a wine rack in the closet because of the whole dry, dark storage thing. 


We spent a lot of time at V Sattui


They have a little deli at the winery so we had lunch.


It was really good & the grounds are pretty with picnic tables all around.


We went to Grgich the last time we were in Napa & they had grape stomping so we stopped again since I had friends to stomp with.


A real live Lucy & Ethel moment.



We stopped at Silver Oak.


Friday morning Dean &  I were on our own while the rest of the group went hiking at Muir Woods. We did that the last trip.

Our first stop was the castle - Castello Di Amorosa


So pretty!


Everything was like you'd expect in a castle - big & ornate! I loved it.


This room can be rented out for a party. It holds 150 people. I can't imagine what they charge for that.


There were peacocks walking around. I tried to get him to open his plume or whatever you call all the big feathers but he wasn't interested in cooperating.



I was trying to get us in the picture with the castle in the background. 



Duckhorn is one of my favorite wines & we didn't make here last trip. The sign says by appointment only but we walked in with no problem. We only did a tasting & not a tour.


You get to taste a lot of wine. 




I really liked Miner's wine. We ran into some people here from Louisiana & we have mutual friends. It doesn't matter where you go if you have on an LSU shirt you're going to meet up with someone.



Beautiful views

Later we met up with our friends for a tasting at Domaine Carneros. 




Korie & Randy were in San Francisco for the week so they met us.





It was a great trip & I'm ready to go back. 

Toodles!